- Instacart deactivates for reasons like low ratings, frequent cancellations, policy violations, or legal issues.
- Deactivation is notified via the app and email; deactivated accounts cannot access orders.
- Appeal deactivation by contacting support, explaining reasons, and awaiting their response.
- Prevent deactivation by maintaining professional behavior, adhering to policies, and avoiding fraud.
- How to Know If You’ve Been Deactivated
- Understanding the Instacart Deactivation Policy
- Can You Get Your Account Reactivated?
- Appealing a Deactivation
- How to Avoid Being Deactivated
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
How to Know If You’ve Been Deactivated
You’ll instantly know if you’re deactivated by Instacart.
You’ll receive a clear notification within the Instacart Shopper app, and you won’t be able to go online to claim or shop for orders. You’ll also receive an email that notifies you of the deactivation.
If you send an email to support about a locked or deactivated account, you’ll likely receive a reply that looks something like this:
The Instacart team will inform you of what you did and why you can’t do it. They’ll provide a specific reason and usually offer dates it happened.
Instacart rarely deactivates shoppers for just one violation. Instead, you’ll usually see multiple violations over time.
Understanding the Instacart Deactivation Policy
You can get kicked off the Instacart platform at any time for a variety of reasons, per their deactivation policy.
However, the reason that most shoppers get deactivated has to do with violations of Instacart’s independent contractor Contracts.
Remember that contract you had to sign when you first applied? Well, you probably did something you agreed not to do.
Oftentimes, shoppers have no idea what they’ve done because, technically, they never read the agreement all the way through.
Instead, the quickly hit the “agree” button, instead of familiarizing themselves with the rules.
Start Here: I suggest reading through the contract, line by line, to make sure you understand your roles and responsibilities. Then, move on to the appeal process.
If you don’t fully understand the contract and what you initially agreed to when you signed up to become a shopper, you won’t have a very good chance at having your deactivation overturned.
1. You Have Low Ratings
Having excellent customer ratings can only benefit gig workers.
If you have a large number of low ratings, there’s a good chance they will deactivate your account because you’re no longer providing a positive experience for customers.
2. You’re Constantly Canceling Gigs
The best thing about working on gig platforms is that you control the gigs you pick up or decline.
While this is true, if you’re regularly picking up gigs and canceling them before completion, your cancellation rate will increase.
Having a high cancellation rate can lead to Instacart deactivating your account.
3. You’re Acting Unprofessionally
Even though you don’t work in an office with your boss watching over you, delivering and shopping with Instacart requires a level of professionalism.
A few things that Instacart doesn’t tolerate in employees or independent contractors are discrimination of any kind, theft, or not providing the safest possible experience for customers.
4. You Don’t Follow Their Alcohol Policy
A favorite feature of Instacart is that users can order alcohol and have it delivered straight to their doors.
When you’re working with Instacart, you’re responsible for knowing and abiding by their alcohol policy.
When picking up and delivering alcohol to someone, you must verify their age by scanning their driver’s license.
If you do not follow these rules, you’re in direct violation of this policy, and Instacart will most likely deactivate your account.
The same can be said about most alcohol delivery apps.
5. You’ve Given a Receipt to the Customer
This one will probably surprise you, but per the policies on the contracts you signed, you cannot give the customer the receipt for the items you picked up for them.
Customers will get an electronic Instacart receipt, and shoppers should keep the physical one in case of false claims.
6. You’re Co-Shopping
Unless you’ve read through the independent contractor agreement thoroughly, users often miss this violation.
When working a gig with Instacart, co-shopping is not allowed.
Co-shopping is when you, as the Instacart Shopper, have brought someone along with you.
It can be a friend, child, or significant other.
Since whoever you’ve brought along doesn’t have an account with Instacart, you’re violating their co-shopping policy by bringing someone along and giving them unauthorized access to the platform.
7. You’re Participating in Fraudulent Activity
There are a few things that Instacart considers fraud.
If you’re using a bot to pick up extra gigs, Instacart can deactivate your account.
When you attempt to use bots on the app to pick up more gigs, you’re violating the agreement, which states you will not alter the app in any way.
Another instance of fraudulent activity this platform watches for is misusing the Instacart credit card.
Shoppers receive a credit card in the mail to pay for some orders.
If Instacart catches you using the credit card for personal gain, you can say goodbye to your Instacart account.
8. You’re Breaking the Law
All Instacart shoppers must have valid car insurance to deliver through the app.
If you do not have your insurance up-to-date or lack a valid Insurance policy altogether, Instacart can deactivate your account.
If you break the law while actively working a gig with Instacart, there’s a good chance your account will be locked too.
Instacart can suspend or deactivate your account if you’re driving on a suspended license or are at fault for a car accident during your work hours.
Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert
There’s a bit of an unfounded belief among many shoppers that deactivations might be part of a broader effort by Instacart to replace older shoppers with newer ones.
I don’t believe that this is true, as it serves Instacart’s best interest to keep long-standing shoppers on the platform and happy. It’s not like they get raises for being there for longer periods of time, similar to how a full-time job works.
I do believe that shoppers who are deactivated, however, should use the appeal process to their full advantage. Especially if you’re a long-term shopper with a history of great work behind you.
Gig economy platforms like Instacart, Shipt, and ridesharing services have a huge issue with churn. If they don’t have workers to fulfill customer demand, their service won’t work.
So, if you can provide evidence that helps to convince them not to deactivate you, it is highly beneficial for them to keep you rather than deactivate you.
Can You Get Your Account Reactivated?
There is a possibility that you can reactivate your account and rejoin the members of the Instacart community.
Many of the reasons Instacart deactivates accounts are due to accidents.
If you believe Instacart deactivated your account in error or due to a simple mistake, contacting Instacart customer service is the first step towards reactivation.
Grocery delivery services such as Instacart, Shipt, and others don’t tolerate serious offenses.
If your account is no longer active due to harassment, discrimination, abuse, or you’ve broken the law, there’s a very low possibility that they will consider you for rehire.
So, whether you can get your Instacart account reactivated depends on their reason for initially locking you out of your account and whether or not those reviewing your appeal think you should have a second chance.
Appealing a Deactivation
Whether you know that Instacart deactivated your account in error or you don’t see the reason, your first step is to contact shopper support if you want to start appealing their decision.
When you reach out to them, you’ll need to provide your username and why you’re appealing the deactivation.
If you don’t know why Instacart deactivated your account, you can state this in your email.
Based on what other Instacart workers say after sending their email appealing the decision, shopper support states they will inform shoppers of the decision within 48 hours.
You’ll want to keep in mind that the appeal process may take longer with the high number of people who lose access to their accounts.
Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert
My suggestion is to be very persistent in appealing your deactivation.
If you can’t initially get a response, contact support through multiple channels, including email and social media.
I also suggest documenting your situation and providing as much evidence as possible.
The more documentation that you have to back up your side of the deactivation, the better that your chances are at potentially getting the deactivation overturned.
How to Avoid Being Deactivated
Even though Instacart is deactivating shoppers’ accounts left and right, there are a few things you can do to prevent them from deactivating your account.
1. Leave Food Alone When Delivering
When a customer orders on the platform, they’re trusting you with their food.
Leaving the customer’s food alone while you’re delivering is the best way to ensure that the customer is happy and gives you a high rating.
No one wants to receive their order to find out someone’s been getting into their food or that items are now missing.
Not only is tampering with someone’s food unprofessional, but food tampering is also illegal.
2. Be Responsible
There are many opinions on what constitutes responsibility.
However, it’s essential to be extra trustworthy when working as an independent contractor.
People trust you with their food and deliver it with care and make them feel safe.
Following all the delivery instructions given by the customer, avoiding a security breach by not sharing your password with anyone, and following their alcohol policy are all simple ways to remain responsible on the job.
3. Don’t Get Greedy
Any indications of fraud caught by the safety team are cause for deactivation.
As tempting as it may be to use the Instacart credit card for something not gig-related, it’s not worth it.
You’ll be sacrificing any potential earnings since Instacart support will remove you from the app.
Try buying yourself a treat each week when you’re out on the job with your own money that you’ve earned from your hard work.
Doing so will incentivize you to continue following Instacart’s rules.
4. Be Professional
Speaking to customers politely and professionally will ensure they have a positive experience.
A positive experience encourages them to leave a high rating. Accounts with a high rating tend to stay active.
Did you know? Instacart deactivations happen for many of the same reasons as a DoorDash deactivation. Make sure to avoid the line items below and protect your standing with Instacart.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Make a Second Instacart Account?
You cannot. Making a second Instacart account is a violation of the independent contractor agreement.
How do I Contact Instacart for a Refund?
You can email customer support, call their customer service number, or launch the Instacart help center to request a refund.
Can You Log Into Instacart on Multiple Devices?
You can, but you will need a verification code to be able to do so.
Can You Reactivate an Instacart Account After Deleting It?
If you’re the one who deleted your Instacart account, you may not be able to reactivate it. What you’ll most likely have to do is create an entirely new account.
Whether you’re an in-store shopper or only delivering with Instacart, knowing the reasons why Instacart could deactivate your account can help you avoid silly mistakes.
Even if you follow the rules, misunderstandings and accidents happen.
If they deactivate your Instacart account, you can go through the appeal process or seek employment with other gig platforms such as UberEats, Grubhub, or Postmates.